Setting aside any sexist remarks such as
"I like hanging with the boys because girls are drama" or
"Is there any men that work here because I want to speak to someone who knows what they're talking about"
... I mean, I could go on for days here, but I wont. Today is about Menstruation.
If you're reading this and you are uncomfortable with this subject, you might find some parts TMI for you. Otherwise, think of it as a friend giving you her tops tips to surviving your dreaded 'Lady week'.
I tend to refer to menstruation as a 'Period' or sometimes, if referring to how I feel, I say something along the lines of "I'm female today/ I'm on". It makes it easier for people who notice your a bit down, but have trouble talking about the subject, to understand exactly why you're a bit delicate. Seriously girls its nothing to be ashamed of. Mother nature can be a bitch to the best of us and it gets us all down sometimes.
Ever since I was young I would have debilitating periods. I would be in bed off school on day one, moping around on day 2 and finally active and better enough to go back to school on day 3. It was tough. I feel ya' if you have the same problems.
As an adult the contraceptive pill really helped even everything out. I often joke with the boyfriend about how the female reproductive clock should have a pause button, until we wanted children - if ever, instead of popping possibly damaging hormones every day (but that is another matter) For now I'm lucky enough to only be bed ridden once or twice a year and thought it's still tough, and a pain in the arse, you get on with it and find ways to make it better.
The following tips are what I've used as my 'survival tools' throughout the years, if you have any you dont see here please share! We are all in this together.
Hot water bottles are your friend.
Hot water bottles, heat pads, cuddles. Anything that puts heat on you abdomen or lower back is going to do wonders. Try keep this area warm when you go out too. Heat relieves the cramps.
Use painkillers if you need to function.
If I really need to go to work or we had a plan with friends I try to function with pain killers. Though I hate using them. (I feel like period cramps are a measly way of preparing yourself for the pain of childbirth contractions. ok... maybe not so much, but Shhh it makes you feel like you're a hero!)
If you have a heavy flow, wear tampons and pads to save embarrassment.
If you are feeling like sh*t, there is nothing worse than adding the embarrassment of leakage (on top of the rest of our problems). We all know how horrible it is to be suddenly attacked by 'that flow' and having nowhere to run to. Its awful, and sticky, and uncomfortable and urrrgh... I dont want to think back to those moments. But all can be avoided. If you know you are having a heavy month, wearing both is a great way to save your ass or indeed your vaginal pride in this case. Of course bed time provides new problems, but Super extra long sanitary pads and dare I say it, a puppy pad on your bed will save you buying new sheets!
Carry Sanitary products EVERYWHERE.
Just like above, being caught in 'heavy flow' can be terrible. But nothing is worse than having to stuff your pants with a wad of tissue because you've suddenly come 'on' and you forgot your sanitary products! It happens to us all and even if its never happend to you, you might save someone else (I've saved a lady in a pub loo before - I swear she will love me forever). Mother nature attacks at the weirdest of times, it's better to be safe than sorry.
DO NOT be ashamed of a natural process.
There is so much who-ha about the simple act of TALKING about Periods. In some places it's taboo! The world is definitely 'warming' to the idea of talking about it but there are still many a person who will turn their nose up at the slightest inkling of it in your conversation. Others of us don't mind at all and will happily compare notes! Try not to be ashamed of something that half the world's population has experienced, if you want to talk about menstruation, do it!
You are teaching the world to open up.
You are teaching the world to open up.
Get yourself moving.
Exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make us feel good. So it makes sense to lightly exercise when you are on your monthly. I say lightly, because a heavy workout and a heavy flow = SUUUPER MESS (or 10x super tampax!) and mess makes us feel sh*tty again. Add that to the fact that your energy levels have been drained anyway and just light exercise is definitely your friend.
Eat healthy and drink fluids
Whilst you may be reeeeally craving that bar of chocolate, ice cream or your favorite flavoured crisps. It isnt going to help you in the long run. Especially if you are watching your figure anyway. Period hormones mean we don't quite know why our mind is telling us these things, but that doesnt mean we can't make good choices. Healthy foods and lots of water will help your body do what it needs to do. Not to mention how it will make you feel mentally once the week is through. Conquer the cravings!
Last but not least do things that make you happy.
As mentioned above. Hormones are hell. They hurt sometimes too. Doing things that you would normally do to make you happy is a great way to beat the feeling-sorry-for-yourself feelings. anything such as:
- Binge watch your favourite show,
- Finish that book you've been reading the past month,
- Paint a picture,
- Do your nails,
- Get your partner to cook for you.
Keeping your mind busy will remove you from the pit of bloody death you've been digging for yourself the past few days.
Thats it girlies, (and you guys if you've come to learn for the women in your lives - ain't you awesomely supporting, I salute you!)
Keep your chins held high and conquer your menstruation madness. If anyone tries to stick their nose up to what mother nature bestowed upon you, stick your nose up right back at them! ;)